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Supermarket expansion plans are good news for customer service professionals

The creation of over 30,000 new jobs across the major UK supermarket groups is good news for people with professional customer service skills, according to the Institute of Customer Service.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Supermarket expansion plans are good news for customer service professionals

The creation of over 30,000 new jobs across the major UK supermarket groups is good news for people with professional customer service skills, according to the Institute of Customer Service.

“People with proven customer service skills will be well placed to take advantage of these new opportunities as their skills are completely transferable,” said David Parsons, chief
executive of the Institute.

His comments come as Asda became the latest of the UK food retailers to announce the new jobs, adding to similar plans from Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and frozen food chain Iceland.

“The retail food sector is holding up well in the current economic climate, perhaps because people are eating at home rather than going out,” said David. “And while the cost of the weekly shopping basket is important in the current climate, for many customers it is not just about price but also about the overall experience. This is where the skills of customer-facing staff will be the defining factor.”

The Institute has been the driver for the development of the National Occupational Standards for customer service and the qualifications based on them. It offers its own ICS Professional Awards and helps members to further develop their careers through its continuous professional development programme. Opportunities to gain professional customer service qualifications continue to expand.

“The Government has announced a further 35,000 apprenticeship places for the coming year and it is a fact that customer service apprenticeships are among the most widely used of these qualifications in the UK,” added David.

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